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The 69 Position

An Eco-medy

of two acts

by Murray Buesst

Synopsis

The year is 2069 and the planet is in meltdown.  Seas have risen, land lies scorched, and nations are riven by famine, drought and war.

Meanwhile, in a warehouse apartment somewhere in England, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Lewisham Milton and his husband Foreign Secretary Rohan Chaudhry face even more serious challenges — the decline of the Broadway musical, the Prime Minister’s unexpected pregnancy and her wife Dame Sahara Beckton’s reaction, and convincing the latest addition to their household — chorus boy Mason Dixon — to put on clothes.

The ’69 Position turns a queer eye to the future to offer a non-binary, carbon-positive, post-pandemic climate comedy.

Script

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Characters

Note on cast diversity:

‘The ’69 Position’ is set in the year 2069, by which time it is assumed that life expectancy has been significantly extended, and that ethnicity and gender have come to be regarded as merely incidental.  As such, characteristics detailed below are flexible.

1.  Rt Hon Lewisham Milton MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Apparently in his 60s or 70s (although in fact rather older).  African-Carribean descent.  Identifies as a gay man.

Formerly an academic, Lewis is soon to receive a Nobel Prize for Economics.  But his professorial demeanour belies a troubled upbringing, first with fundamentalist Christian foster parents, and then in a children’s home run by the London Borough from which he later took his name.

With a penchant for 20th and early 21st Century antiques, Lewis’s dress sense has not moved on from the Millennial hipster look he adopted as a young man.

2.  Rt Hon Rohan Chaudhry MP, his husband and Foreign Secretary

Apparently in his 40s or 50s (although, again, in fact rather older).  South-Asian heritage.  Identifies as a gay man.

Brought up in a big family in the north of England, Rohan is naturally funny, with a penchant for innuendo and filthy double-entendres.  With his feminine manner, flamboyant dress sense, and love of Broadway musicals, on first impressions he comes across as frivolous and silly.  But these outward characteristics conceal the steely character beneath.

3.  Rt Hon Pixie Snagge MP, Prime Minister

In her late 30s or early 40s.  Identifies as a lesbian woman.

Pixie is the absolute antithesis of her name.  Competent, unimaginative, and entirely devoid of humour, she is well used to being someone that everyone relies on but nobody likes.

But Pixie has a secret admirer — one person who thinks she’s fun … with whom she could run hand-in-hand through fields of corn.  Never mind that the only time they spend together is her  weekly audience at the Palace …

4.  Dame Sahara Beckton, her wife and Party Chair

Apparently in her 50s or 60s (although, again, rather older).  Currently identifies as a gay woman, although … well … [spoiler alert] !

Dame Sahara shot to fame as a part of a Millennial girl power band.  Appointed a UN Roving Ambassador, she founded the Beckton Foundation, which campaigned against FGM and helped bring clean water to millions in the Global South.

With her estuarine accent, foul mouth, and uncompromising attitude, she is Watford’s answer to Lady Bracknell.

5.    Mason Dixon, a dancer

An attractive, corn-fed young man in his 20s from Hot Springs Arkansas with a southern / midwestern US accent.  Identifies as a gay man, but is later revealed to have secret heterosexual tendencies.

With his slow, elaborately courteous manner, and apparent lack of formal education, Mason appears at first to be little more than eye candy.  But might this all be a facade?  Could Mason in fact be a desperate man on the run from the Mexican police?

NOTE: Although this will not be required for a rehearsed reading, for comic effect the script calls for Mason to be fully, or at least very nearly, naked for much of Act I.

6.    Eunice / Colin, a digital assistant

Of unspecified age and ethnicity, Eunice / Colin is a hologram, and digital assistant to Lewisham Milton.  What they lacks in physical presence they make up for in personality; in a digital assist-off, Eunice / Colin would leave Siri and Alexa whimpering in the corner.

Despite being digital, they nonetheless identify as non-binary, and indeed transition from Eunice to Colin in the course of the play.

Only trans actors will be considered for this role.

7.    Rt Hon Marcia Law MP, Leader of the Opposition

Prime Minister Pixie Snagge’s PMQ sparring partner.  Possessed of an utterly monotonous voice, coupled with a needling, combative personality.

8.    Ingeborg Pedersen, Prime Minister of Norway

Identifies as a lesbian woman.  Nordic accent.  Is said by others to be funny at times.  But this may be a generous appraisal.


To be played by one actor

Author

Murray Buesst read Natural Sciences at Durham University and trained at the New York Film Academy, where he studied stage and screen direction under Paul Warner, writing and editing under Todd Walker, and cinematography with Philippe Rousselot.

His NYFA graduation film Last Night premiered at Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival.

He wrote and directed a mockumentary short, On The Other Hand, which premiered at the Queer Lisbon festival.

He was the cinematographer and editor of the micro-budget feature film The Bubonic Play, collaborating with the cast, director Cal McCrystal (One Man, Two Guv’nors), and composer Jane Watkins to adapt this infectious Edinburgh Fringe comedy for the screen.  The film premiered at the LOCO Festival at the BFI South Bank in January 2015.

Murray associate produced the short film Bathtime, directed by Russell Michaels, and starring Alan Cumming and Julie Walters.  This was screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and on Channel 4.

He is the co-author, with Daniel Goodhart, of The Oxbridge Reject Society Prospectus – a satirical loo-side volume published by Mandarin Books.

He has written two feature film screenplays, and adapted Patrick Gale’s novel Facing The Tank as a four-part mini-series.

The ’69 Position is his second stage play.

Contact

Murray Buesst

34 Leverton Street

London

NW5 2PG

+44 7836 529268

murray@buesst.com